Last night I randomly found myself on a date in beautiful Nagasaki. His name is Hiroaki and as I announced to my hostelmates that I was going in search of conveyor belt sushi, he followed me out the door and asked if he could join. I should add that Hiroaki doesn’t know much English and my Japanese vocabulary includes about all of 10 words. This should be interesting.
Hiroaki is from Chiba, and he’s backpacking through Japan. He’s staying at the Akari hostel while he helps them out with some work. I also found out that he’s a drummer, and he showed me a fun video of his band performing.
Even though I was a little nervous about how much we would have to talk about, having him join me for sushi turned out to be fantastic. He took care of ordering all my favorite stuff (unagi, and now ika thanks to Timmy!), and I tried new pieces that he suggested which turned out to be delicious. Moreover, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily conversation flowed, even with such a large language barrier. Sometimes he would pick up key words, and other times we just somehow figured out what the other was saying. It was fun, easy-going and quite frankly one of the best dinner dates I’ve had in a while.
It made me think about a conversation my cousin and I had back several years ago. This is on a whole other level here, but we were discussing marrying someone from another culture and whether or not it would cause problems down the line. I understand her point of view as to how it could potentially complicate things when dealing with each persons’ traditions, but I think the benefits of being with someone who comes from a different culture can far outweigh the issues. And when you take a larger look at it, this can be applied to any kind of relationship really. Think about how much we could learn from each other. I’ve already learned so much from the friends I’ve made in my journeys, and its because of this reason that I am such an advocate for travel. If we didn’t have these connections with people outside our circles then we’d just be stuck in our own lifestyle, never being challenged to think about things differently. And what fun is that?